america is messed up in a lot of ways, here's just one

November 24, 2009

in the last few years pregnancy has been all the rage with celebrities and now those same celebrities are postpartum women.  you can't walk by a new stand without seeing headlines about whose baby is due when or how khloe kardashian is going to try to breastfeed with her breast implants or HOW SHE LOST THE BABY WEIGHT IN 10 DAYS!  things like this:


and it paints a completely ridiculous and damaging standard for actual, everyday women.  there are a few things happening here.  for starters, it's not actually healthy to loose weight that fast if those claims are real.  and many celebrity women are not gaining enough weight when they're pregnant (they are afraid to get too fat and have to lose it later).  on top of that, most of these ladies have far above the average income.  serious exercising takes time and resources that most new moms don't have.  i can't possibly imagine finding an hour to myself to go to the gym and see a personal trainer.  walking around the block with jude?  that's about all i can manage a few times a week.  and healthy food?  it's freaking expensive.  that's why poor people are fat and rich people are skinny.  good food is expensive and crap food is cheap.  on top of that add in stylists, makeup, spanx, personal trainers, and personal chefs.

we are surrounded by images of women that are just aren't... real.  they aren't the average woman's experience.  and trying to live up to those standards is both demoralizing and impossible.  these images are destroying the confidence of women everywhere.  it's not enough anymore to just be healthy and happy.  plus half those pictures aren't real- they're edited and airbrushed.  the truth is that a real post-baby body is something that america keeps a secret.  girls don't know what to expect after having a baby and aren't prepared for stretch marks and moved around weight and big boobs because everything around us is sanitized.  women who just had a baby shouldn't be embarrassed by their bodies.  they just did something incredible.  and it takes a while for things to go back to some semblance of "normal" and some things might never go back.

and so, without further blabbling on about how celebrities are jerks and lead a lifestyle completely foreign to the common american, i give you- american new mom:


this is me, 11 weeks postpartum.  you can compare and contrast with this picture of me doing the same thing pregnant here.  i don't have a pre-pregnancy photo for comparison because despite what this website might indicate i don't typically take photos of myself in my underpants, so, sorry for that.  i am a real woman who just had a baby.  with stretch marks and lumpy belly and, whatever else.  i'm pretty much back down to my starting weight but everything is all... moved around.. from where i remember it.  i wear most of my pre-pregnancy clothes but they fit a little funny in spots.

it took every ounce of self control that i have in my being not to photoshop the shit out of that photo before i posted it.  COME ON, WHAT IF I JUST TAKE A LITTLE BIT OFF MY FAT, FAT ARM?!!? AHHHHHHHH!  -but that would ruin the whole point, you know?  about being honest about what our bodies are meant to do.  because i don't think i need to be embarrassed about my body but i totally am.  stupid american culture.  and this is also why you shouldn't trust any picture you see in a magazine (or anything by anyone who knows how to edit photos).


because most of the pictures that you see published out there in public are a straight up lie.  because i can fix all of my body image issues with a few clicks of a mouse.  if only it were that easy in real life.


if you're interested in reading more about this topic i first heard about it at The Shape of a Mother, which is a website chock full of pictures of actual women's bodies illustrating this exact same point.

14 comments:

Junket

I think you just posted something real and honest and it's something that every single woman in America should read. I think you look awesome and I'm giving you two thumbs up!

TLC

amazing post.

real. honest. awesome.

Ky (Two Pretzels)

Wow. Great post. You can't see it, but I'm giving you a standing ovation right now.

As far as I'm concerned, those Hollywood "moms" are crazy. It confounds me how they get that thin, that quickly. (I highly doubt it's all, "breastfeeding" like they say...) I knew I wouldn't be like them after I had my baby because, well, I wasn't like them BEFORE I had my baby. They're extreme. I'm average.

You're right, though - this culture does not embrace, the post-baby body at all. And, I'll be honest, I wasn't so keen on my body after my pregnancy, either. I had ONE friend who told me that my belly was going to feel, "fluffy" - like loose, jelly skin. And, thank GOD she told me that. It made me feel normal after Lila was born.

I could ramble on about this forever, but I won't since this is your blog and not mine.

Bottom line? GREAT post. And, for some reason, my body is a little less important now that I have a Cupcake in my life. My changed body and that emergency c-section scar are oddly my little badges of honor.

Mickey D.

Bravo!

You have done a good thing for women everywhere. I commend you.

If only those in Hollywood has as much guts as you do. Just think... you have been able to spend time WITH YOUR CHILD these last 11 weeks. Famous people have had to spend that time in the gym. And for what? A stupid magazine cover/pictorial that won't matter a week after the magazine comes out? To impress a bunch of people they don't know? Hmm... I'd say you are the real winner here.

Well done. Great post.

Sarah

I just want to say that I wish I knew you, personally. You constantly amaze me. I love how real your posts are, and how you write, and post pictures, about real life, and you're not afraid to do it. I was scared to put a picture of my face on here, let alone my body - pre or post baby.

Thank you, and congratulations, and hugs, and I vote for you for president. ;)

Wendy

This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read.

Sad Panda

Behind this great land of firewalls and usernames, as much as we write about our personal feelings and thoughts and lives in general, there is an element of "is this real, or is just for a funny blog story" to every post. It is wonderful to know there is a blogger who is real. Thank you for posting this, it's very inspiring.

fritz

Thank you! that is so the truth! Happy Thanksgiving!

Iris Took

Great post. Having no experience with pregnancy myself, but having a lot of experience with dieting, exercising, losing and gaining weight, I find your comments amazing. Hollywood is not real - the women that we all "aspire to look like" are not real life people and do not have the tasks that we have. I firmly believe that we could all look like the Jessica Albas, Heidi Klums, and Tori Spellnigs of the world, if we too had personal trainers, chefs, and TIME, oh the time.

I applaud your candidness and congratulate you on being a mom and a REAL person. We're all here with you.

wrestling kitties

I don't know if there is anything I can say that hasn't already been said about you and this post. Kudos to you for being real, saying what many of us think, and being brave enough to put yourself out there like that. I think you look amazing and Hollywood needs to STOP with this unrealistic image that is out there trying to portray what women should look. It is sick.

GREAT post

Ashley, The Accidental Olympian

I have to raise my glass to you for this one. There is so much one could say, but I don't think it's even necessary because you obviously get it tenfold.

We need more powerful and honest role models for our children in this messed up world like yourself.

Thanks for having the strength to share!

MoFoKA

I know this is an older post but I just wanted to say well done. You are so so right about this, and while Australia isn't quite as bad as the US it's not far behind. I find that people become obsessed with how well you've "bounced back" which is ridiculous - how about we just give mums a chance to be mums.. and to get some sleep!

rocketmommy

2 words = thank you!

Angela

I just stumbled upon this post and WOW bravo!! Thank you for showing people everywhere what a real postpartum body looks like (you look amazing by the way). I'm the mom of a 15 week old so I can relate about having things all shifted around.

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